The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War

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Those who Served

Allied Forces - Browse by Surname.

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Axis Forces - Browse by Surname.

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William Yabsley .     British Army Royal Engineers

My Grandad, Bill Yabsley, was a POW at Stalag XXA from 1941-1942. He was captured at Dunkirk and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner. He has lots of stories to tell, particularly one where he helped to save the lives of two Jewish girls; Magda and Suzanne Hersgovitch. Grandad is now 93 and frequently talks about his experiences as a POW. We would love to hear from anyone who can remember him, particularly Bill Ackland.

John Yaccarine .     United States Army 4th Inf. Signals Co.

I was with the 4th Inf Signal Co. We were in Quansett huts on the edge of town before Tiverton was overrun with GIs. Got to know the family of a woodcutter, who would come back towing a tree trunk. The family treated me great but I lost track of them and now can no longer remember their name. They had an attractive red-haired daughter. I was in awe of the spirit of the English people with all they had to go through. The frequent bombings in Exeter and the `business as usual' effort of the people impressed me. I don't remember Tiverton being as large as it apparently now is. I sent my mom a bottle of Devonshire Violet perfume and she had me send her more. She continued to use until she died. I have pleasant memories of fish and chips wrapped in newspapers, bean sandwiches and some wonderful people.

Henry Yalden .     British Army Royal Artillery   from Wimbledon)

My father Harry Yalden was sent to France to fight the Germans who were moving in from Belguim in 1940. He was part of the Artillery Regiment. They fought on the beaches of Dunkirk until they ran out of ammo. They were captured and sent on a death march to Poland were he was a prisoner of war for 5 years at Stalag xxb his number was 14 on the records. He later escaped with others and was found by Americans hiding out in a barn. If anybody has any information a family mentioning him, records of him I would very much appreciate it. He died in 1986 and would never talk about his ordeal when he was alive. My Dad was a little guy 5ft 4in reddish blond hair blues eyes and stocky and a jokester who loved to draw.

Pte. William Henry Yale .     British Army 9th battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry   from Sheffield, Yorkshire)

(d.7th September 1944)

Ronald James Yanko .     Royal Canadian Air Force 428 Squadron   from Regina, SK, Canada)

Audrey Patricia Elsie Yard .     Womens Land Army   from Rose Cottage, Warmwell, Dorchester, Dorset)

I am trying to find out any details of my late mother, Audrey Patricia Elsie Hodder (nee Yard) from Warmwell near Dorchester. I understand that she was stationed at a Farm in Blandford Forum or the surrounding area, not too far from her home. She married my father - Charles Hodder and had eight children and in the late 1950's they moved to Manchester to be near one of her Aunties. If you have any information, this would be gratefully received. Unfortunately my mother died in April 2008 after a long period in hospital and a nursing home. Towards the end of her life, she suffered from dementia and, as a lot of stories on this website, her memory was lively and colourful - but very unreliable

Pvt. George Yaros .     US Army 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment 101st Airborne   from Gary, IN, USA)

George Yaros was held as a POW at Stalag IIA from 12/20/1944

Pvt. George Yaros .     United States Army 506th Parachute Infantry 101st Airborne   from Gary, Lake Co., IN)

George Yaros served with the 506th Parachute Infantry, he was captured during the Battle of the Bulge on 20th of December 1944 and held in Stalag 2A. He was Repatriated on the 25th of July 1945.

Cpl. Norman "Silver" Yarrow .     Royal Air Force 78 Squadron   from Darlington)

My father, Norman Yarrow, was employed in the Locomotive works in Darlington. Shortly after the outbreak of war he volunteered to join the R.A.F. His basic training took place in Blackpool and then he was trained as a Flight mechanic.

He was posted to 76 Squadron at R.A.F. Middleton St. George which was a newly constructed airfield. 76 Squadron were the first to operate from this station. Shortly after opening, 76 Squadron was joined by 78 Squadron at Middleton. (Also known locally as Goosepool) As he was fortunate enough to live in Darlington, only five miles from the airfield he was granted an S.O.P. (sleeping out pass) On some occasions, in school holidays, I would ride along with him on the morning trip to “work.” I was nine years old at that time. I took sandwiches and spent a large part of the day sitting on the fence beside the railway lines which formed the airfield boundary. I was about 25 yards from a dispersal point and watched all the activity. On my many vigils I watched the “Erks” doing routine maintenance, armourers bombing up and fitting ammunition belts, I knew that this indicated that the squadron would be operating that night. Later on when I was at home in bed I could hear the aircraft taking off and circling before setting course for the target of that nights raid.

I remember that there always seemed to be plenty of activity during the day. I particularly liked to watch the aircraft after an air test when they approached the main runway, they flew directly over my head and seemed very low. I recall one occasion when an Oxford from some other airfield collided in mid air with one of the 76 Squadron aircraft doing “circuits and bumps.” Some of the wreckage fell at the far side of the airfield closer to the River Tees. There were no survivors!

I did return to Middleton St. George some years later when, as a Cadet I was taught to fly in a Kirby Cadet. It is now a civilian airport and I have used it to fly to a holiday destination. I still remember the Halifaxes though!

Spr. Joseph Yates .     British Army 1018 Docks Operating Company Royal Engineers   from Jarrow)

(d.17th Jun 1943)

Joseph Yates died aged 22, he was the son of Richard and Rachel A. Yates of Jarrow. He is remembered on the Brookwood Memorialand is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.

Michael Yates .    

Pte. Norm Yates .     Australian Army 2/2nd Field Ambulance

My father, Norm Yates, was held at Stalag 8b (Lamsdorf) after being captured on Crete. He was a private in 2/2nd Field Ambulance in the Australian Army. He was later in the prisoner exchange. Does anyone remember him?

Stan Yates .     Royal Air Force Sqdn 2816 RAF Catterick

I served in Sqdn 2816 at Catterick Camp in 1940. Does anyone remember an explosion there at the railway station round that time?

Sgt William Steven Yates .     428 Sqd.

Earl Yearout .     US Army 88th Infantry Regiment

I served in the 88th in Italy.

Winston Yeatman .     New Zealand Army 19th Army Troop Engineers   from Christchurch, New Zealand)

My father, Winston Yeatman from Christchurch, New Zealand was an Engineer (or 'sapper') in the 19th New Zealand Army Troop Engineers. He was a prisoner of war in Stalag V111B after being captured on Crete in 1941, arriving back in UK May 1945. His POW number was 7490. From his war record he seems to have been in a few camps - Salonika, where he was first registered as a POW at the Front. Stalag 18c; V111b; 344; Stalagluft 6; He was an Engineer in the NZ Army.

He changed identities with Richard Pape (and others) and his exploits are in the book written by Richard Pape 'Boldness Be My Friend' and it's sequel. Dad passed away in 1986, he was always actively involved in the RSA, Ex-POW & Tin Hat Club in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Sgt. Willis Redmond Yeldon .     Veterans Guard of Canada   from Brookville Ontario, Canada.)

(d.26th Oct 1942)

Sgt. Yeldon was the Son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Yeldon, of Brookville Ontario, Canada. He was 41 when he died and is remembered on the Nassau Memorial in the Bahamas. The Nassau Memorial commemorates Commonwealth servicemen of both World Wars who lie buried in cemeteries or churchyards, but whose graves have become impossible to maintain.

Capt. W. W. Yellowlees MC..     Army 5th Btn. The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders

Anne Yenuzaites .     Land Army

Claude Yeo .     British Army 7 Field Company Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Claude Yeo is my father. He served in WW2. He was one of the soldiers in the Battle of Falsise Gap and in Dieppe, Normandy. He told us lots of stories when he was overseas, some funny and some sad. He was posted in England in 1940. He enlisted in the Seventh Field Company of Engineers, REME. If you have any information on him and his troops or if any one can help me obtain copies of his medals, I really would be thankful.

F/Sgt Lloyd J Yeo .     RCAF 408 Sqd.

Sgt Howard Garfield Yeo. .     RAAF 12Sqd. (d.25th Jun 1943)

Pilot Howard Yeo was killed on 25th June 1943 flying Lancaster ED968 PH-P Bar of 12sqd

Cpl. Arthur David "Yec" Yexley .     British Army 9th (The Rangers) Btn. King's Royal Rifle Corps   from West Ham, London)

Taken prisoner in Crete, Arthur Yexley my dad, was first sent to Stalag IIID, located at Freigeghlen near Berlin. He later transferred to Stalag 383 where he spent the remainder of his incarceration.

He told a few stories of the good times but only occasionally talked about the bad days. Like most camps, cigarettes were currency, for both prisoners and guards alike. Dad said that whilst they were reasonably fed (although often hungry), the Russian prisoners in the next camp along were in a very poor state. As the British went out on work parties, driving past the Russian camp, they would throw cigarettes over the fence. Dad swore that, on occasions, the Russian prisoners would grab whatever was thrown in and simply push it straight in their mouths and eat. That memory stayed with him always.

Whilst they didn't have it "cushy", he did love to talk about the long bridge tournaments in which he played; of the Gilbert and Sullivan productions (some photos of which he also had) and the fact that, far from digging tunnels, towards the end of the conflict, the guards would collude in prisoner escapes for the right amount of tobacco. He did not attempt an escape, always saying that life under the Nazis was preferable to my other!

Howard O. Yoder .     United States Army (d.13th June 1944)

My dad was drafted on 3rd January 1944 and did his basic training at Ft Warren, Cheyenne, Wyoming. From there he shipped to England, arriving on 30th May 1944. He was killed on 13th June 1944 when I was only 6 or 7 years old.

William Yoder .     United States Army 8th Inf. Div. 28th Rgt, Coy C

My father, William Yoder, served with 8th Infantry Div., 28th Rgt, 2nd Btn, Coy C, US Army. He was captured at the beginning of November 1944 and sent to Stalag 4B until April 1945. He was 30 years old. He was a coal miner before entering the army.

Lt. Brabazon Duke Yonge .     Royal Australian Navy HMAS Canberra   from Australia)

(d.9th Aug 1942 )

Lieutenant Brabazon Duke Yonge served on HMAS Canberra with the Royal Australian Navy, he died 9 August 1942 whilst the ship was off Savo Island, Solomon Islands. He is remembered on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

Lt. A. S. York .     Royal Navy HMS Volcano

Harold "Harry" Yorke .     Royal Air Force 603 Sqd.

We are hoping to publish our father, Harry Yorke's wartime diary about his experiences in Stalag Luft 7 Bankau and then Stalag Luft 3a Luckenwalde. We have made contact with one of his pals' family but if anyone has information about the following POW's who were with Dad in these camps and on the Long March please email us.

  • Laurie Benson,
  • Johnnie Perkins,
  • Bill Swinson (Kiwi)
  • "Red" Tarlton
Grateful thanks.

John Watson Yost .     Royal Air Force

Pte. Laurence Youd .     British Army 5th Btn. East Yorkshire   from 107 Cundiff Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester)

My dad Laurence Youd was in the 5th East Yorks and landed on Gold Beach during the D-Day invasion. He was wounded a couple of days later and was in a hospital in Bayeux.

He had a mate called Tommy Holden (Tich) who lived at 60 Lindel Road, Fleetwood, Lancashire. He had two letters from Tommy dated 25th July and 26th September 1944. I'm trying to find out more about where and when he was wounded, 8th or 9th of June possibly. It would be good to hear from Tommy or anyone who knew him. Sadly Dad passed away in March 2015.

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